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The 99-Million-Year-Old Bee was found in Burmese Amber, in an article published online in Palaeodiversity magazine.

Professor George Ponnar Jr. of Oregon State University describes a new family, genus and species of pollen-collecting bee found in a piece of amber (middle Cretaceous period) of 99 million million years excavated in a mine in Myanmar.

Apicula discs; The bee carries four beetle tringulins. Image by George Poiner Jr. College of Science, Oregon State University.

The bee is an important component in the history of the development and diversification of flowering plants (angiosperms).


The vast majority of bees depend on pollen, nectar, oil, wax, aromas and resins of flowering plants for adult and larval nutrition, sexual attraction and nest building. Bees develop from apoid wasps, which are carnivorous.

However, not much is known about the change of wasps as they did with the changes in the diet. The newly described primitive bee is so unique that Professor Ponier decided to establish a new genus and family (Discosapidae) for her.

Called Discoscopa apicula, the ancient insect is a small, dark, mostly hairless bee, collecting pollen.

It shares features with modern bees with plum hair, a round pronothal lobe and a pair of spurs on the posterior tibia and also has very short antennae sockets and some features of the wing veins, such as the apoid wasp.

There is something unique in the new family that has not been found in the apoid wasp or in any extinct or extinct lineage of bees, a bifurcated rape, said Professor Ponnar. The fossil record of bees is very vast.

But most are from the last 65 million years and look like modern bees. Similar fossils in this study can inform us about the changes of some wasps, as they became palnivores, pollen eaters.

Pollen in Burmese amber in the femur of the hind leg of Apicula Discospa captures the pollen with surrounding pollen particles. The insert shows branches in the hair.

The unique female specimen of Apicula Discosapa is located on the edge of a small piece of amber.

Specimens from a mine first excavated in 2001 include beetle parasites in the Hukwang Valley southwest of Mingkhwan in the Kachin state of Myanmar.

Pollen particles in its legs suggest that the bee had recently visited one or more flowers.

Additional evidence that the fossil bee had visited the flowers contains 21 beetle tringulins (larvae) on a single piece of amber that feeds on the bee’s larvae and their provisions.

A food for the honeycomb to feed on of the food left by the female. We stopped the trip, said Professor Ponar. It is certainly possible that a large number of Tringulin bees accidentally flew into resin.

Trapped in 99 million year old Amber, a pollen beetle from Pillford. The discovery is one of the strongest pieces of evidence in the fossil record that pests pollinated prehistoric bicycles.

A plant that preceded flowering plants. A middle Cretaceous beetle had a hairy cavity at the base of its market, known as Cycles. A middle Cretaceous beetle had a hairy cavity at the base of its market, known as Cycles.

Bees and butterflies are praised for their pollination skills. But millions of years ago, once they played with a flower, beetles were one of the world’s prepollinators.

Among the large number of prehistoric plants that helped fertilize were cycads, which look like a mix between palm trees and ferns, although they are more closely related to pine trees.

They have thick socks, pineapple-shaped cones, and are topped with leaves like feathers. The researchers learned from studies of modern cycles that were pollinated by beetles.

Now, for the first time, paleontologists are trapped in Myanmar amber, a 99 million-year-old beetle protected from a cyclone with sharp pollen. He made his discovery Thursday in a magazine called Current Biology.

“Discovering this ancient relationship is like a dream come true,” said Chenyang Kai, a researcher at the University of Bristol in England. Dr. Cai started studying amber when researching in China.

Trapped inside was an insect two millimeters high, known as a boganyd beetle. These beetles have a small cavity that is filled with fur at the base of their mandi that acts as a pocket for collecting pollen.

Cycad image of preserved amber pollen granules found in Myanmar. Crushed pollen granules preserved in amber found in Myanmar. When he finished cutting, trampling, and polishing the amber.

Drs. Kai essentially had a biological sample placed on a gold glass slide. He placed the fossil under a microscope and examined it at a magnification of 400 times.

There he found a mandatory pocket of beetles and surprisingly, he saw dozens of pollen, some pressed against beetles and clusters. I was very excited. I just wanted to know what pollen was, said Dr. Cai.

It is not in the beetle’s body, but it is very close to the beetle and part of its mouth, they said. He said the pollen may have once been in the beetle, but it may have stopped since it combined with the tree’s resin.

Dr. Cai contacted Liqin Li, who studies ancient pollen at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and is a paper author.

Looking at the long grooves in the oval grain, Drs. Lee identified the pollen as an ancient cyclone. Although scientists in Spain previously found the beetle and pollen preserved together in amber from a separate tank.

The researchers were unsure whether the pollen came from the bikes or from the ginkgo plant. The authors of the new article also discovered that the closest living relative of the ancient beetle is that of Australia, which also contaminates cycas.

A wide view of the beetle, with preserved pollen granules, appears in the lower left. A wide view of the beetle, with preserved pollen granules, appears in the lower left. Unlike most flowering plants, cycus has different male and female plants.

When a beetle flies into the cone of a male plant, looking for a place to eat pollen or lay its eggs, it brushes against the pollen. Then, while visiting dozens of other cyclases, you can be in a female cycad and distribute that pollen.

It is inadvertently and innocently pollinating the plant, said Michael Engel.

A paleontologist at the University of Kansas and a paper writer. It works well: the plant pollinates and feeds on the insect. Although this piece of amber is 99 million years old.

Drs. Cai and Dr. Engel feel that this provides a snapshot of the pollination process that may be older, possibly dating back to the Triassic period.

If so, this could mean that beetles were pollinating plants a hundred million years before butterflies and bees were the first pollinated flowers, which must have happened about 130 million years ago.

Insects and plants are the two main titles in our world,” said Dr. Engel said. The intimate love-hate relationship between these two giants of diversity over time is an important story, and this fossil is just one component.


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